Nail'd Multiplayer Hands-On
This over-the-top racer laughs at every law of physics you can dream up.
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Later this month, publisher Deep Silver and developer Techland will release a game called Nail'd. It is, at first glance, a title that could suggest any number of genres. Is it a carpentry simulator? Is it a game about arresting criminals? (One can imagine a cop handcuffing someone while shouting, "Hey criminal! You got nail'd!" It helps to imagine him with a mustache.) But if you've been following our coverage of this upcoming title, you'll know that it is, in fact, an off-road racing game. More specifically, it's an off-road racing game in which realistic track design and scientifically accepted principles of physics are mere suggestions for the game to violently scoff at. With a bit less than a month to go until release, Deep Silver invited us for one last look at the game to see what players can expect out of the multiplayer side of things.
Nail'd is a game with a terrific sense of adrenaline but not necessarily a terrific sense of speed. The frame rate is solid but not great, so it doesn't quite feel like you're tearing through a track at obscene speeds. However, the ridiculous track design compensates for that and then some. Imagine if someone drew a racetrack on a flat sheet of paper and then proceeded to crumple it up. You're effectively racing inside that crumpled sheet of paper, with severe dips, harsh angles, and a mind-boggling sense of what's up and what's down. Adding fuel to the fire is a boost system that lets you trigger a temporary uptick in velocity, but it's a system that encourages driving like an utter maniac because of how the boost pickups are scattered throughout the tracks. So, in summary, Nail'd isn't exactly a simulation racer, but it doesn't suffer for that.
The game's multiplayer offering is a bit more straitlaced than its driving model. Among the handful of game modes are the likes of Simple Race, which is a basic start-to-finish contest in which the first player across the finish line takes the crown. Then there's Free Race, which gives everyone a fixed amount of time and judges the single best lap time as the winner. Then there are more objective-based modes like Stunt Challenge, which asks you to rack up the most points by using boost to get the most out of massive jumps. And finally there's Detonator, which is a mode that randomly puts a bomb on the back of your vehicle, and we're pretty sure the only way to get rid of it is to drive like even more of a maniac. Altogether, what you have is a decent mix of game modes, though it's hard to escape the feeling that Techland could have gone a little more over-the-top with the rule sets to match the eccentricity of the driving itself.
There's a nice variety to the track environments you'll be racing through. You'll compete in places such as a picturesque Mediterranean seafront, a misty wooded forest, an arctic glacier, and an active volcano. The major theme linking all these tracks is the aforementioned absurdity of the track designs, huge ramps, and numerous branching paths. In short: it's an arcade racer through and through. Come back for our review when Nail'd is released on November 30 to see if the rest of the game can live up to the ridiculous driving.